So these last few weeks, I’ve been thinking to myself more and more about one question. One thing that I’ve been working through, and trying to develop an explanation as to why I answer the way that I do.
The question? How would I respond if God were to look down at me, while He was seated on His thrown, and ask me if I would be willing to take the spot of someone who did not know Him, so that they could enter His Kingdom and I would inherently receive their punishment.
Now I know that this is not how it works, and everyone is responsible for their own actions, and must be held accountable for what they do. And I’m certainly far from perfect, let alone being a worthy sacrifice on behalf of someone else. But what if God were to ask this of me?
In this last week and a half, I’ve been trying to open my eyes more and more to see how God wants me to be, what He wants me to do, and how He wants His mission here in France lived out.
I had a great discussion with my fellow bearded Irish friend – Mally McLoughlin – about inspiration vs. aspiration, and this relates so well to the original question.
Inspiration, or to inspire, is defined as being able to fill someone with the urge, or ability, to do or feel something. This is related to how we can make others feel, but it leaves out a key element – Hope.
Aspiration, or to aspire, is defined as just this. It’s to direct one’s hopes or ambitions towards achieving something. In other words, it’s living by example to give others the ability to see something different within you, and having them aspire to something greater.
In comes Faith in Jesus Christ.
When people who haven’t yet come to know Jesus see the way that we as followers of Jesus Christ are supposed to live, we are actually aspiring them to direct their hope towards Jesus.
When we lay down our lives, desires, and pride, and take up our crosses to follow the Lord, we are reflecting the true Light into this world.
Brennan Manning writes:
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
How are we going to be a witness to our community, and reflect Jesus’ love and light, when we deny Him by our lifestyle?
How can followers of Jesus be anything but overwhelmed by His great love?
Let that sink in for a few.
How can each of us be living a better life for God, and not be content with mediocrity?
Now, time to go back to the original question I posed.
My immediate response was that I would, without hesitation, lay down my life so that others could live. But it wasn’t until I really thought about it that I understood why.
I believe that my soul purpose, along with every other Christian, is to become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. We were literally created to Worship the Lord. Now Jesus modelled how we should live, what we should do, how we should treat others, and what it means to love your friends. He took this so far as to laying His own life down, being a PERFECT sacrifice, and showed how far He is willing to go for us to know Him.
Now, while my sacrifice would be anything but perfect, I feel that it does represent something. It represents how far I am willing to go to bring Glory to God.
Don’t read too far into this, and think to yourself, “is he comparing himself to God and saying he could be a worthy sacrifice?”
I’m absolutely not.
God is infinitely more than I will ever be.
What I’m saying is that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we should be ready to lay our lives down if it is for God’s glory. We should be ready to give everything we have, everything we are, and everything we’d like to be, just to give glory to the One who’s love has no bounds. We should never stop trying to bring Glory to Him who created us.
He loves us infinitely more than we could ever imagine, and more than you or I could ever exemplify. All He wants is for us to come to know Him.
Just some food for thought.
Blessings and Aloha,